The Church of the Advent
The Church of the Advent was founded in 1844 by members of the Boston gentry influenced by the Oxford Movement, a tendency within the Church of England that sought to revive Anglo-Catholic liturgical practices and doctrines that had fallen out of use in contemporary Anglicanism (The Church of the Advent). It was the first (and that time, only) church in Boston to offer rent-free pews, attracting "all sorts and conditions" of people.
Backstory and Context
The church was built to be available to anyone regardless of how much money they had. There were a lot of controversies after it was founded, but after it has only grown and continued to spread its name throughout Boston (The Church of the Advent). The founders wanted to create a Church that was fair and had no restrictions on people because of their socioeconomic status. Their constitution says, "its objects are to secure to a portion of the City of Boston the ministrations of the Holy Catholic Church, and more especially to secure the same to the poor and needy, in a manner free from unnecessary expense and all ungracious circumstances” (426 Mass. 268).
The founders started building the Church of Advent on 30 Brimmer Street, which is now the permanent home for the church. It was initially created on Merrimack Street. Six months after it was established, that church was moved to North station. The church had received a lot of criticism because there was a big anti-Catholic sentiment in New England, but as the years went on, more people started joining the Oxford movement and followed to the church of Advent (The Church of the Advent).
In 1936 Donald Harrison built an organ for the church which remains a masterwork of art in the church. Albert Schweitzer came and played when he was visiting Boston, and said it was one his highlights. In 1997 members of the Church of Advent and other people from other churches changed the constitution of the church. The Church of Advent would follow the constitution at the Episcopal church (426 Mass. 268 ). Another theme was that in the Constitution, there were lots of democratic action. Members of the church are elected and to make a change it has to have a majority vote (Project Canterbury).
One important association with the church is the bells. They were given to the church from a man from England. They were played for 2 years straight before noise complaints stopped them from playing. The church rings the bells every Sunday and also rings them on the fourth of July, which has become a tradition ( The Church of the Advent).
This year is an important year for the Church about that because it is their 175th anniversary. After their 50th anniversary, there the church started publishing volumes. Each volume is supposed to contain events that have happened in a certain period of time. The purpose of each volume is to tell all the small things that happen that people don't usually talk about and people’s stories that can be passed along. The church notes that engravings or other constructions do not memorialize events and people. These books are a way to memorialize these people and events since the the church was founded because it wanted to be open to people who didn't have access to the churches, and its mission of openness has grown over the years (The Church of the Advent).
Members of the church are of all ages and the church welcomes non straight people in the church. The Church of Advent is also committed to helping the homeless by offering things that they can't afford. More than 40% of the numbers have been members for over 20 years and almost 60% of members for over ten years. There is a strong sense of community ( The Church of the Advent).
The Church still has the same values as it did when it was founded. It contributes to the community by doing community outreach and its openness to people of all different backgrounds like it did when it started.
Project Canterbury. 1846. Accessed December 2nd 2019. http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/theadvent/constitution1846.html.
426 Mass. 268. 1997. Accessed December 2, 2019. http://masscases.com/cases/sjc/426/426mass268.html .
The Church of the Advent, "Our History in Brief,". Accessed December 17, 2019. https://www.theadventboston.org/about-us/a-brief-history-of-the-parish/